|Day 1||Santiago, Chile||Arrive in Chile’s capital and enjoy a tour|
|Day 2||Embarkation Falklands||Fly by private charter to the Falklands, explore Stanley before embarking on the National Geographic Endurance|
|Day 3||At Sea||Crossing the Drake Passage|
|Days 4 - 9||Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands||Antarctic Peninsula outer Islands|
|Days 10 & 11||At Sea||Crossing the Drake Passage|
|Day 12||Ushuaia||Disembark. If joining the group flight transfer to airport for flight to Buenos Aires|
Launching in 2020, the National Geographic Endurance is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose built for polar navigation. The Category A vessel is a fully stabilized, highly strengthened ship designed to navigate polar-passages and uncharted waters all year round. Designed to provide an extremely smooth ride in even the most adverse of conditions, reduced spray on deck and wave-splicing action making for superior observation.
Made for exploration, the National Geographic Endurance is outfitted with kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing crafts, underwater cameras, video microscopes to explain elements of the surrounding environments, a hydrophone to listen to the vocalisations of marine mammals, an open bridge to constantly talk to your captain and expedition crew along with snorkeling gear and wet suits for underwater excursions.
Santiago is surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to your afternoon guided tour of this vibrant city (dependent on your arrival time). Explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that dot the city. In the early evening gather for an informal reception and a drink at the hotel.
Today you will fly by private charter flight to the Falklands, arriving in Mount Pleasant with a transfer to Stanley, the capital. There is time to stroll the photogenic tin-roofed, colonial-style houses of Stanley, seeing the Anglican Cathedral with its organic archway of whale bones before embarking our ship.
While crossing the legendary Drake Passage, spot albatross and other seabirds that glide alongside the ship as you make your way to to the White Continent.
With long hours of daylight, the most will be made of the time spent around the Antarctic Peninsula, while maintaining a flexible schedule to take advantage of the unexpected – perhaps watching a huge whale surface off the bow. You will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. One day you may make a foray among towering bergs under a bright sun, walk along the shoreline amid a huge penguin colony, hike to a summit for a breathtaking view, or kayak along a cliff-side rookery in search of blue-eyed shags. And the next you’ll have the thrill of watching the ship crunch through the pack ice, or step ashore to the cries of thousands of gentoo penguins. You’ll learn from the on-board naturalists how to identify penguins and get photo tips from a National Geographic photographer while watching those same penguins. Back aboard, the team’s undersea specialist may present a video from that day’s dive – rare images taken up to 300 metres below the surface using the ship’s ROV (remotely operated vehicle). Your expert staff will craft an expedition where you will learn more, see more and experience more.
As you leave the continent and sail back to Ushuaia, an albatross or two may join the escort of seabirds that cross the ship’s bow, and your spotters will keep an eye out for marine life. There’ll be plenty of time to enjoy a wellness treatment, log some time in the gym, or catch up on the book you haven’t had a minute to read. Final presentations from the expedition staff will reflect on all you have seen and learned.
In the early morning, arrive back in Ushuaia. After breakfast, it is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. You have the option of booking onto the National Geographic charter flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires on the day of disembarkation at an additional cost. Alternatively you may wish to spend a bit more time exploring this region.
NOTE: It is possible to arrange alternate flights if you want to explore other areas of Argentina or Chile before or after the voyage. Please ask at time of booking.